Falling Together: Book summary and reviews of Falling Together by Marisa De Los Santos

Falling Together

A Novel

By Marisa De Los Santos

Falling Together
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2011,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

What if saying hello to an old friend meant saying good-bye to life as you know it?

It's been six years since Pen Calloway watched her best friends walk out of her life. And through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them.

Pen, Cat, and Will met on their first day of college and formed what seemed like a magical and lifelong bond, only to see their friendship break apart amid the realities of adulthood. When, after years of silence, Cat - the bewitching, charismatic center of their group - e-mails Pen and Will with an urgent request to meet at their college reunion, they can't refuse. But instead of a happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will, with Pen's five-year-old daughter and Cat's hostile husband in tow, on a journey across the world.

With her trademark wit, vivid prose, and gift for creating authentic, captivating characters, Marisa de los Santos returns with an emotionally resonant novel about our deepest human connections. As Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now. They must confront the reasons their friendship fell apart and discover how - and if - it can ever fall back together.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The mix of perfectly realized personalities and genuine emotion make this a winner." - Publishers Weekly

"De los Santos keeps us totally engaged with these fragile creatures who get under our skin and, ultimately, into our hearts. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Witty and intelligent." - Kirkus Reviews

"This is a good, solid read that succeeds in being both funny and heartbreaking. De los Santos has a knack for best-friend banter and stays true to the emotions involved in letting go of treasured relationships." - Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kristin P. (Elburn, IL)
The Journey - Not the destination
This book was a fast read that kept the reader's attention as it explored the friendship between a group of 3 people. For readers who are more interested in going on a journey than in the concrete destination at the end of the story this book is for you. I would definitely recommend this as a book club selection because I think this book has a lot to offer for lively discussions (exploring friendships, falling out of relationships, reuniting and the factors influencing the choices people make). While I think this is a great book for a book club selection because of the discussions that can be had around the book, i would not choose this book to read on a vacation or a weekend afternoon. I did not particularly like and was unable to relate to any of the main characters. If you are a reader who enjoys strong female characters, you maybe disappointed in the female characters in this book.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Annie H. (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Falling Together vs Falling Apart
I was about a third of the way through this book when I got the phone call that my best friend was in the hospital and the doctors were preparing for a brain death exam. She was a best friend since high school, 41 years. I say this not for sympathy though I'm sure you do, but because I finished the book with a much altered perspective and an earthquaked landscape to my life.

But grief and loss are similar despite different age groups, different types of loving and different cultures. Love remains and the loss of it requires navigating through a murky, uncharted terrain. Marisa De Los Santos has paid attention to the details involved in this journey and has presented characters and situations beautifully and thoughtfully described. These characters are people you know and their lessons learned are those which we learn over and over again in our lives.
I laughed, I cried, I will read this book again and I will share it.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Marcia S. (Hendersonville, NC)
Gone but here
Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos is a poignant tale of three friends from college days that have moved on and connect years later. A thoughtful look at relationships and how we all likely have people in our lives that may be "gone but here" -- a piece that helps us realize the tapestry loved ones weave in our lives. Would make a great book club focus on the strengths and twists and turns of friendships.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Elisabeth W. (Durham, NC)
Likeable
Once again, Marisa De Los Santos shows her mastery of the language of relationships in Falling Together. Her characters are likeable with convincing dialogue. Though the plot is a bit of a stretch to believe, Falling Together overall is a satisfying read.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Sarah N. (Corte Madera, CA)
Conflicted
I write this review feeling conflicted. I loved the characters and the plot, however, sometimes it was a bit too unrealistic for me. I am a practical person and couldn't get my mind around some of the events that took place. I was spellbound by the book and couldn't put it down. I kept hoping good things for Pen.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Linda S. (Oceanside, NY)
I Wanted to Fall in Love With this book but...
I loved Maris de los Santos’ first two books, Love Walked In and Belong to Me, so I was looking forward to her newest novel. While enjoyable it did not live up to my expectations.

Cat, Pen and Will met in college and became fast friends, doing everything together, virtually to the exclusion of everyone else. When Cat leaves the trio to get married it causes a rift in the relationship. Six years have gone by when an e-mail from Cat to both Will and Pen arrives; Cat is asking for help and a meeting at their ten year reunion. When Cat doesn’t show up it sets in motion a series of events that lead to an exploration of the meaning of love, friendship and growing up.

As usual the book is well written and the dialogue and bantering between friends is entertaining, but herein lies a problem. It just seemed improbable that after a rift of six years everyone was able to pick up almost right where they left off. Many changes had occurred in their lives but it was hard to distinguish the youthful students from their adult counterparts. I also found it hard to believe that both Will and Cat would drop everything in their lives in an effort to find Cat, it just didn’t seem realistic. I did enjoy the book, but it was more along the lines of like and not quite love.

...27 more reader reviews

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The bestselling author of Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos is an award-winning poet with a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her husband and children. Follow her online at www.marisadelossantos.com.

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